Gold. The first G.
The “GOOD LIFE.”
“More precious than silver… more costly than gold.”
Many Filipinos are enslaving themselves abroad to earn more money. The dream house. The dream car. The dream vacation. All of these are carefully photographed and posted on Facebook, often to flaunt how they made it big outside the country. Status posts are LV bags, rolex watches, and other branded stuff… and it somehow makes us feel good that our old friends and classmates click the “like”button and comment how nice the pictures and how ‘successful’ we are. It pleases us when others are envious of what we have.
And yet many of these big houses in upscale suburban residences are empty. Their owners break their backs working to pay off the mortgage. The children are nowhere to be found. But these stuff are never posted on Facebook. Sadly, Filipinos usually think earning dollars is Heaven On Earth, and they envy them who made it outside. And so we don’t tell the real story. That the price we sometimes pay for these little childish dreams is too high.
Some of us, we don’t give a hoot what others think. We just want to eat, drink, and be merry. Finally we can splurge on the luxuries of life we could only dream of before. We can buy what we want, go where we want, eat what we want.
And so at a young age, we already have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and other diseases we can’t even pronouce nor spell. And the irony of it is, we think people who buy Organic and Freerange Eggs are either rich or “sosyal.” They’re the ones wasting their money. Why buy hormone-free chicken when you can save half the price, enough to buy you the latest car in two years’ time. And so many of us live on fastfood junks to save up more money. They’re cheaper and great-tasting too.
The sad thing is, we end up destroying the very life we intended to build and enjoy. We get sick too soon. Too sick to even enjoy what we toiled for. It is sad. We think life is all about having more. We just want to earn. We don’t like to think much
I also notice how ungenerous many migrant Filipinos become. As far as I remember, we are a Culture of Bayanihan. We are the most HOSPITABLE people on earth. Remember how our grandmothers would use the well-kept porcelain plates and silver spoons for the visitors while we use the tin plates and chipped cups for our sinangag and kapeng barako? I remember my aunts would sleep on the floor, the “banig” spread out, so that the visitor could snooze so comfortably on the bed, with the “kumot na inalmirol.”
But in a world where dishwashers are common, we serve our visitors on cheap paper plates with brittle, plastic forks.
We go to parties, eat like there’s no tomorrow—as if we can’t afford to buy a decent meal– and also expect our hosts to give us TAKE AWAYS. “Makikain para makatipid.”
We can afford to stay in hotels others would only dream of, and yet, we hoard the toiletries, towels, cutlery, and whatever we can find as SOUVENIRS. “Sayang naman. Shampoo din yun,” we say. And worst, we don’t even care to tip the cleaner. I can understand if you’re living in the slums and you’re barely able to buy your next meal. But for heaven’s sake… you’re in the first world. You got a good job. You live in a nice house, drive a nice car. We might even be shamed by a simple street vendor in Manila who shares his food with another! In the Philippines, we remember to give a portion of our “Tinola” and “Lechon” to our neighbors. We give even if we are poor and I believe, we are far better off today than before… or are we really?
We know we have succumbed to the Temptation of Materialism when we have forgotten HOW TO BE GENEROUS.
When we forget to take care of our parents and grandparents.
When we end up not talking to our friend because of some debt.
When we give things we wouldn’t use ourselves to typhoon victims.
When we don’t spend quality time with our spouse because we have to work some more.
When children think it is their right that their parents provide them with gadgets.
When we think we can CONTROL other people’s lives because we have THE money.
We have succumbed to the temptation when we FORGET HOW TO BE SIMPLE.
When we no longer give out of our poverty. We give out of our excesses.
WHEN EVERYTHING HAS A DOLLAR SIGN WITH IT, UPON IT, AND UNDERNEATH IT. When our choices are made based on their MONETARY VALUE rather than their ETERNAL VALUE. That’s when we know we need help.
Live your life abundantly. Know what YOU NEED. What’s IMPORTANT for you. Be grounded on the BASICS. Don’t depart from them just because of what others may think or WHAT THIS WORLD SAYS IS IMPORTANT. Don’t be dictated by it.
PROTECT your CAPACITY for UNCOMPLICATED ENJOYMENTS. It is getting scarce nowadays.
Remember: An uncluttered heart is a peaceful heart.
“Wisdom and money can get you almost anything,
but only wisdom can save your life.”
(Ecclesiastes 7:12, NLT)
Lord Provider, I have been cared for by You in all aspects.
I am rich in so many ways. Able to work, and able to give. And for that, I thank You.
I pray today, keep my heart pure, my DESIRES SIMPLE. My hands, generous.
Help me entrust my tomorrows to You. May I not be afraid of possessing nothing.
Help me to fear only ONE THING, and that is to forget that YOU ARE MY ONE TREASURE.
“More precious than silver, more costly than gold…
No riches of the Earth compares with You.
And what can this world offer, when all I desire is You.”